How to play blind football
What surprises most people about blind football is the speed. This game is similar in pace and intensity to the one played by sighted teams, with players demonstrating the same skills, passion and commitment to their fitness. There is, though, obviously more to it than that.
How it works
- Five players, rather than 11, make up a blind football squad – four blind players and a sighted goalkeeper.
- The ball contains loose ball-bearings so it rattles when it moves, allowing the players to locate it as they play.
- Players learn to keep the ball close, and perfectly controlled, as they dribble across the pitch, only letting it away from their feet when ready to pass to a team mate or take a shot.
- Concentration is everything because, as well as hearing the ball, they’re guided by the voices of other players as they pass the ball.
- The coaches play an important roles as well. During the game a coach will stand behind the attacking goal, directing the forward players, another coach stands on the side-line and will instruct the midfield players, while the sighted goalkeeper will help organise his defence.
- During a penalty, the attaching coach will tap both the vertical posts and cross bar, so that the player will know where to place their penalty strike.
- Specially designed acoustic boards around the pitch create an echo that allows the players to determine their own position (by clicking their fingers) and to locate each other and the ball as it goes in and out of play.
- Importantly, all players must shout the word “voy” when in defensive situations. This allows the attaching player to determine the position of the defensive players on the field.
The most important things a player has to learn are how to run, stop and start again, and to change direction, with or without the ball. Without these but crucial skills, they will be in danger of hurting themselves or each other. At the RNC Football Academy we spend a great deal of time coaching and developing these skills as well as basic ball control, before moving on to a competitive game.
Watch the video below to hear Brandon Coleman, former RNC student and Professional England Blind footballer, telling us why sport is not just about success on the pitch;
If you’re interested in finding out more about playing blind football, call the RNC enquiries line on 01432 376 621 or email firstname.lastname@example.org